Before Evil

Before Evil

Book - 2017
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Special Agent Maggie O'Dell doesn't need to set foot at a crime scene to catch a serial killer. From her small Quantico office, she's profiled criminals using just Polaroids and faxed copies of evidence from homicide detectives across the country. Then comes Albert Stucky . . . and nothing will ever be the same. Stucky is a sadistic madman who places pieces of his victims in takeout containers and leaves them for innocent bystanders to find. He enjoys his twisted games as much as he enjoys the kill. And when Maggie is tasked with profiling his murders, Stucky is only too happy to rise to the challenge: 'Let the chase begin.'
Publisher: Omaha, Nebraska : Prairie Wind Publishing, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780997389746
Branch Call Number: Mystery Kava
Characteristics: 330 pages ; 24 cm


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Mar 16, 2019

I can't remember how many time I've borrowed Before Evil from KCLS, let it languish on my shelf, renewed it, returned it, then repeated the whole sorry exercise. I am not a fan of prequels.

I was wrong about Before Evil.

It's interesting to find the motivation of our heroine, Maggie O'Dell, and the antagonist who drew her out from hunting killers for others from the cloister and safety of her office to the real and very ugly nitty-gritty of actually hunting them.

There's a lot left untold about the villain, Albert Stuckey, and most of what is told is as frenetic as barely his controlled spree. We do get a glimpse of what drives him at the end but, in my opinion, it insufficiently covers the genesis of his evil. That said, it's been such a long time (March 2004) since I read Split second, to which this is a prequel, I just may not remember more about it/him.

Alex Kava draws the reader in and keeps the story line flowing. I've never been disappointed in this series, or any Alex Kava book, and always look forward to the next one... and those after.

4 stars, highest B+

Dec 26, 2017

Disagree with previous comment. I love Maggie with all her flaws; just makes her more interesting. Kava draws the reader in & keeps the story line flowing. I've never been disappointed in this series & anxiously wait for the next.

Oct 10, 2017

Comparing Agent Maggie O'Dell to Reacher makes no sense. I suppose the comparison was dreamed up by marketing. Reacher is all about spontaneous aggressive fury. Maggie is relentless but more subdued. Reacher is unencumbered by his past while Maggie carries hers like a burden. Reacher is the central focus in his stories, while Maggie is part of a cast. Both Reacher and Maggie share the same moral compass (don't all heroes?). The story here is nothing great, the writing adequate. Though the insane villain is a very interesting character. The story is cast as a prequel to the Agent Maggie O'Dell series, but the setup was never apparent to me.

Sep 30, 2017

Maggie O'dell has returned and it is exciting. We finally get to meet the serial killer that started it all. Tamer the previous stories.


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